The Treaty Clause of the Constitution gives the President the "Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two proceeds in three steps: First, the President or his agents negotiate and sign the treaty; second, the Senate gives its advice and consent by a two-thirds vote; and third, the President ratifies the treaty. In practice, however, the Senate has earned its reputation as the "graveyard of treaties. While minor treaties usually clear the Senate eventually, significant treaties-particularly multilateral ones-are often the subject of lengthy or endless delay. The Senate's present backlog goes back decades (the oldest treaty pending before it is from 1949) and includes major treaties like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Prospective Advice and Consent,
Yale J. Int'l L.
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